Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/31/2015

Well, New Year’s Eve went off without any terrorist attacks (so far — Chicago and L.A. are still counting down as I write this). The Munich threat didn’t materialize, and the Dubai skyscraper fire seems to be the worst incident — a terror attack by Amish extremists, according to some sources.

Happy new year, everybody!

In other news, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s new year’s address is being made available with Arabic subtitles, thanks to a new smartphone app.

To see the headlines and the articles, click “Continue reading” below.

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Dean, DV, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, JLH, LP, Mike Vanderboegh, MM, Nash Montana, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Financial Crisis
» Financial Minds Most Concerned With Growing Household Debt in Canada: Poll
» Italy: Sale of Four ‘Good Banks’ Starts
» Agents Nab Pakistanis With Terrorist Connections Crossing U.S. Border
» California: Police May Confiscate Guns Without Notice Starting January 1
» CNC ‘Ghost Gunner’ Machine Forges Path for Homemade AR-15 Rifles
» Englewood Man Charged With Killing 6-Year-Old Son by Pinning Him on Couch
» Grocery Store Defies Anti-Gun Movement, Welcomes Open-Carry Shoppers
» Impeachment Resolution Introduced at the RNC
» Missouri Ravaged by Historic Flooding as Disaster After Disaster Continues to Hit America
» New Year Celebrations Cancelled in Rochester After New York Man, 25, Arrested for ‘Supporting ISIS and Planning Attack on Restaurant’
» Republicans Give Obama a Blank Check
» ‘Ritualistic Sacrifice’ Not Ruled Out in Child’s Death
» Suspect Identified in Peoria Road-Rage Shooting
» Top 10 Misreported or Underreported Stories of 2015
» Trump is a Creature of Obama’ — Jeb Bush
» Trump: ‘I Know Words, I Have the Best Words’ — Obama is ‘Stupid’ [Video]
» Who Owns Leaked Database With Nearly All US Voters?
Europe and the EU
» Belgian Bikers Arrested Over ‘Plot for Paris-Style Attacks at New Year’
» Brussels Cancels New Year’s Fireworks Due to Threat of Terror
» Donald Trump Could be Banned From the UK After Petition Signed by 565,000 People
» Financial Times: Merkel Will No Longer be Chancellor in 2016
» German Minister Advocates Random Drug Testing for Pilots
» Germany: Police in Munich Warn of ‘Imminent Threat’ of Terror Attack
» Germany: Munich Train Stations Evacuated After Possible Terror Threat
» Italians to Pop 52 Million Bottles of Spumante
» Italy: Lombardy Hospital Burqa Ban Goes Into Effect
» Italy: Some Highway Tolls Hiked as of Jan. 1
» UK: Mohammed Rehman’s Wife Begged for Mercy Over Westfield Shopping Centre Bomb Plot
» UK: Muslim Convert Who Trolled Tory MP Charlotte Leslie on Facebook is Jailed
» ZDF: Arabic Subtitles for Merkel’s New Year Speech
Israel and the Palestinians
» Is Israel Prepared to Meet ISIS Threats on Its Northern and Southern Frontiers?
Middle East
» Third Journalist Killed in 3 Months in Turkey in Suspected Assassination
South Asia
» Kazakhstan: Christian Convert From Islam Gets Two Years in Prison for Stirring Religious Hatred
» Amazon Donates Profits From Far-Right Anthem to Refugees
» Migrants Pretending to be Victims of Domestic Abuse So They Can Stay in Britain
» The ISIS Chemical Biological Threat to the West
» The New York Times’ Featured Syrian Refugee of the Week

Financial Minds Most Concerned With Growing Household Debt in Canada: Poll

Are Canada’s top money managers more frightened about the growing household debt across Canada or the Great White North’s growing housing bubble? Despite both being related to one another, debt is the winner.

According to an informal Business News Network (BNN) survey, most money managers are terrified of the mounting debt than the housing bubble. The study found that close to two-thirds (63 percent) of the respondents were concerned about rising household debt. Meanwhile, more than one-third (35 percent) were more concerned with the ballooning housing bubble.

This is interesting due to the fact that both aspects are directly related to one another. Here is what BNN writes:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: Sale of Four ‘Good Banks’ Starts

Bank of Italy acts with govt, EU

(ANSA) — Rome, December 30 — The Bank of Italy on Wednesday started the sale process for four ‘good banks’ recently split from bad banks after a government rescue that left many investors with worthless bonds. The four are Nuova Banca Marche, Nuova Banca Etruria, Nuova Cassa di Risparmio di Chieti and Nuova Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara. A statement said the sales process would be “enacted in a short time period”.

The Italian central bank has named Société Générale as financial advisor, Oliver Wyman as strategic consultant and Studio Chiomenti as legal advisor.

The process was started in concert with the Italian government and EU authorities, and will comply with EU rules on State aid. The government has set up a 100-million-euro fund to compensate investors who can prove they were duped into holding risky bonds.

All the thousands of former bondholders and ex-shareholders are demanding their money back after seeing their savings go up in smoke.

A probe for instigation to suicide has been opened after one desperate bondholder in Banca Etruria, Luigi D’Angelo, hanged himself.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Agents Nab Pakistanis With Terrorist Connections Crossing U.S. Border

Likely took advantage of smuggling networks or other routes increasingly used by Central American illegal immigrants to sneak into the U.S.

The Border Patrol nabbed two Pakistani men with ties to terrorism at the U.S.-Mexico border in September in the latest instance of illegal immigrants from so-called “special interest countries” using the southern border as a point of entry to the U.S.

Muhammad Azeem and Mukhtar Ahmad, both in their 20s and from Gujrat, were caught Sept. 20 by agents south of San Diego and just over the international border from Tijuana. When agents checked their identities through databases they got hits on both of them: Mr. Ahmad popped up as an associate of a known or suspected terrorist, while Mr. Azeem’s information had been shared by a foreign government for intelligence purposes.

Both men had been processed two months earlier by immigration officials in Panama, suggesting they took advantage of smuggling networks or other routes increasingly used by Central American illegal immigrants to sneak into the U.S.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

California: Police May Confiscate Guns Without Notice Starting January 1

Beginning January 1, police in California may confiscate firearms from gun owners thought to be a danger to themselves or others without giving the owner any notice.

This is the result of the implementation of “gun violence restraining orders” (GVROs), which go into effect New Year’s Day.

According to KPCC, GVROs “could be issued without prior knowledge of the person. In other words, a judge could issue the order without ever hearing from the person in question, if there are reasonable grounds to believe the person is a threat based on accounts from the family and police.” And since the order can be issued without the gun owner even being present to defend him or herself, confiscation can commence without any notice to the gun owner once the order is issued.

To be fair, Los Angeles Police Department Assistant Chief Michael Moore does not use the word “confiscate” when talking about confiscating firearms. Rather, Moore says, “The law gives us a vehicle to cause the person to surrender their weapons, to have a time out, if you will.”

           — Hat tip: Mike Vanderboegh [Return to headlines]

CNC ‘Ghost Gunner’ Machine Forges Path for Homemade AR-15 Rifles

Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed are currently selling their “Ghost Gunner” CNC machine for $1,500.00. It forges a path for Americans to make homemade AR-15 rifles in their garages, basements, or anywhere else they wish to set up the compact CNC machine.

In effect, the machine makes every man an AR-15 manufacturer.

In 2013, Cody Wilson’s Defense Distributed put itself on the map with a 3D printed gun that anyone with a 3D printer and blueprints for the gun—which were uploaded to the Internet—could make in their home, or office, or wherever their printer was located. In May 2013, the State Department demanded Wilson remove the blueprints from the Internet, which he did, but not without challenging the State Department’s legal authority to make such a demand.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Englewood Man Charged With Killing 6-Year-Old Son by Pinning Him on Couch

SARASOTA — A man was charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child after deputies found his 6-year-old son dead on Christmas Eve, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies responded to the home of James “Rick” Dearman, 31, in Englewood at 10:10 p.m. Dec. 24 and saw paramedics performing CPR on the boy, according to the arrest report. A deputy observed bruising on the boy’s back, and he was later pronounced dead at Englewood Hospital.

Deputies interviewed Dearman’s live-in girlfriend, who said she was playing video games with Dearman at 7:30 p.m. when he told the boy and his 7-year-old sibling to go to bed, which is on the floor with blankets in a bedroom. The two children would not go to sleep and kept running around the room, the woman said.

Dearman got up and made the children face the wall, according to the report. Dearman caught the victim watching the two play video games and became angry, his girlfriend told deputies, and grabbed him and put him on the couch.

She said Dearman made his son lie on his side with his face against the rear couch cushions. The 270-pound Dearman then pinned the boy against the couch with his full body, while the victim screamed he couldn’t breathe and tried to free himself, according to the report. Dearman and the girlfriend ignored the child and played video games while he screamed.

After five minutes the victim was motionless, and the couple went into the garage to smoke a cigarette. When they returned 10 minutes later, the boy was still lying on the couch. The girlfriend told deputies the boy’s lips were blue and he was not breathing, so she “ran to the garage to pray.”

Dearman called 911 and performed CPR until paramedics arrived.

Investigators interviewed the 7-year-old sibling, who confirmed the girlfriend’s story and said: “When Dad squished him, he got dead.”…

           — Hat tip: MM [Return to headlines]

Grocery Store Defies Anti-Gun Movement, Welcomes Open-Carry Shoppers

Grocer placing trust in armed customers to “be responsible in our stores”

While other major grocery chains in Texas are opposing the open carry law set to go into effect on January 1, Ohio-based Kroger has no intention to bar its customers from bringing guns into their stores.

Grocers like H-E-B, Whole Foods, Sprouts and Randall’s now display appropriate signage informing customers that they “may not enter this property with a handgun that is carried openly.”

Kroger, which has several stores in Dallas and Houston, however will not impose additional rules on gun owners.

Back in March, Kroger CFO Michael Schlotman revealed the store planned to abide by “local laws” whatever they may be.

“If the local gun laws are to allow open carry, we’ll certainly allow customers to do that based on what the local laws are,” Schlotman said appearing on CNBC’s Squawk Box. “We don’t believe it’s up to us to legislate what the local gun control laws should be. It’s up to the local legislators to decide to do that.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Impeachment Resolution Introduced at the RNC

Now, Republican National Committee member David Agema from Michigan has introduced the linked Resolution in Support of Proper Articles of Impeachment at the national level, similar to a GOP Resolution currently traveling at the county and district level through CAC groups in 29 states.

Agema, a former Air Force fighter pilot, has become as fed up with do-nothing Republicans in a party he has supported all his life, just like millions of Americans in mass exodus from their beloved GOP after the past six years of incompetence and cowardice demonstrated by every Congressional Republican in office today.

The first response from fellow RNC members came from an Arizona RNC Member who immediately advised Agema that he will not support any action to hold Obama accountable without marching orders from Reince Priebus and Speaker Paul Ryan. He would not keep his oath unless ordered to do so by Priebus and Ryan, who have long demonstrated a lack of constitutional decency and courage themselves… and then, “he might…”

This is exactly the type of cowardice that has allowed Obama & Co. to destroy America unchallenged for the past seven years, no matter how many Republicans are elected to stop it. It is also a prime example of why millions of Americans are defecting from a feckless GOP… including Rev. Franklin Graham who recently announced he was leaving a party that no longer represents Republican voters, principles or values.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Missouri Ravaged by Historic Flooding as Disaster After Disaster Continues to Hit America

Why does this keep happening to America? Since the month of September, the United States has been absolutely pummeled by a devastating series of disasters, and this most recent one may be the worst of all. Right now, communities all along the Mississippi, Missouri and Arkansas rivers are dealing with “historic” flooding. In Missouri, it is being said that nobody “that is living has ever seen anything like this”, and it is being projected that rivers could reach levels not seen since “the Great Flood” of 1993. Portions of Interstate 44 have been totally shut down, and thousands of people have either already been evacuated from their homes or are preparing to evacuate. It would be difficult to overstate the utter devastation that we are witnessing. Personally, I have some very good friends in southern Missouri, and I will definitely be keeping them in my prayers.

The governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, is warning people to be very careful. Thirteen people have already been killed by the flooding, and Nixon says that the waters are going “places they’ve never been before”…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

New Year Celebrations Cancelled in Rochester After New York Man, 25, Arrested for ‘Supporting ISIS and Planning Attack on Restaurant’

New Year’s Eve celebrations have been cancelled in Rochester, New York, after a man was arrested for allegedly planning a terror attack.

Alleged ISIS supporter Emanuel Lutchman, 25, was detained after authorities suspected him of preparing a machete attack on diners at a local restaurant or bar in the city in upstate New York.

Fireworks were called off so more police officers could patrol the city, rather than focus on manning the celebrations.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said there was no threat to the public.

Federal prosecutors claim Lutchman had been in contact with a member of the terrorist organization in Syria who urged him to kill non-Muslims.

He has now been charged with with attempting to provide material support to ISIL, which is publishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

‘New Year’s is here soon. Do operations and kill some kuffar,’ Lutchman’s Syrian contact told him according to court documents.

He began speaking about his support for the terrorist group and his desire to travel overseas and join ISIL in conversations with an unidentified individual in November.

Then, earlier this month, he first made contact with the man who identified himself as a ‘brother’ of ISIL…

           — Hat tip: Nash Montana [Return to headlines]

Republicans Give Obama a Blank Check

In his nationally syndicated radio talk show on December 17, longtime Republican apologist Rush Limbaugh said, “Everything Obama wanted, everything he asked for, he got. You go down the list of things, it’s there.

“And this is causing some people to wonder if they just dreamed all that stuff about Boehner resigning. And then other people are wondering if they even dreamed all that stuff about the Republicans winning the largest number of seats they’ve had in Congress since the Civil War. We had two midterm elections in 2010 and 2014, which were landslide victories for the Republican Party. The Democrat Party lost over a thousand seats nationwide in just those two elections. People went to the polls in droves wanting exactly what was rubber-stamped last night (or what will be) stopped.

“And instead they showed up in record numbers and they it turned out and they just defeated Democrats down the ballot. In the process, they elected Republicans to stop this. And now the Republicans have the largest number of seats in the House they’ve had in Congress since the Civil War. And it hasn’t made any difference at all. It is as though Nancy Pelosi is still running the House and Harry Reid is still running the Senate. ‘Betrayed’ is not even the word here. What has happened here is worse than betrayal. Betrayal is pretty bad, but it’s worse than that.

“This was out-and-out, in-our-face lying, from the campaigns to individual statements made about the philosophical approach Republicans had to all this spending. There is no Republican Party! You know, we don’t even need a Republican Party if they’re gonna do this. You know, just elect Democrats, disband the Republican Party, and let the Democrats run it, because that’s what’s happening anyway.”…

Here is a partial list of what Obama requested and received from this so-called Republican congress:

1. Funding for Obama’s executive amnesty program

2. Funding for “Sanctuary” cities

3. Funding for all of Obama’s refugee programs

4. Funding for all of Obama’s immigration programs

5. Funding for Obama’s illegal alien resettlement programs

6. Funding for the release of criminal illegal aliens imprisoned in the United States

7. Funding for tax credits for illegal aliens

8. Eliminates spending caps

9. Funding for Planned Parenthood abortion services

10. Funding for ALL of Obama’s climate change programs

11. Funding for Obamacare

12. Funding for INCREASED government spying on U.S. citizens

13. Funding for ALL of the U.S. wars around the world

14. Funding for the increased militarization of American police agencies and the growing federal Police State

The list goes on and on.

Rush was right: there would have been absolutely NO DIFFERENCE in the Omnibus bill that passed Congress had Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the Democrats been in a majority. No difference at all.

The two-party system is a JOKE. No! It’s more than a joke: it is a total and absolute SHAM.

You know things are bad when longtime Republican disciple Franklin Graham quits the GOP and when the quintessential Republican apologist Rush Limbaugh says the GOP should “disband.”

Elections have become moot. No matter which party assumes control of Congress and the White House, the Constitution is ignored and trampled and the American people are betrayed and sold out.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

‘Ritualistic Sacrifice’ Not Ruled Out in Child’s Death

CALLAWAY — Investigators have not ruled out that “ritualistic sacrifice” played a role in the death of a 3-year-old discovered in a suitcase with what appeared to be a knife wound to the chest, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office reported Wednesday.

Investigators still were processing the scene as the child’s mother, 27-year-old Egypt Moneeck Robinson, was charged with an open count of murder, according to BCSO. She was taken into custody a day earlier when she allegedly admitting to killing her 3-year-old son. Officers then found the boy wrapped in a sheet, stuffed inside a suitcase and floating in marshland behind a Callaway home at 7023 Benton Drive, where she’d been living with a friend, according to BCSO reports.

— VIDEO: Sheriff talks about child’s death “

Robinson was in custody Wednesday evening but had yet to be booked into jail and formally charged since she was being treated at a local hospital for several self-inflicted knife wounds, officials reported.

BCSO reported in a law enforcement incident report that while Robinson was being transported she made statements about needing to save the child from the end of the world.

“Robinson stated to me that, ‘The world is going to flood and everyone was going to be drowned and I can’t be drowned, therefore, I have to be shot in the head,’ “ the officer quoted Robinson as saying. “‘I was just trying to save my baby.’“

Robinson then asked the officer if he believed in the biblical Noah’s Ark.

“After she asked me that question, she stated, ‘Everyone on Noah’s Ark relived [sic] and my baby will relive [sic] again,’ “ the officer reported…

           — Hat tip: Dean [Return to headlines]

Suspect Identified in Peoria Road-Rage Shooting

Peoria police on Thursday released the name of a man accused of shooting another driver in a road-rage incident along Happy Valley Road.

Ryan Megofna, 27, of Surprise, was arrested in the shooting of a 45-year-old man Wednesday evening.

According to Officer Brandon Sheffert, a spokesman for the Peoria Police Department, investigators determined that both men became upset at each other’s driving and exchanged insulting gestures, which escalated into the shooting.

According to a police report, the incident began around 6:15 p.m. when both drivers turned off 67th Avenue onto Happy Valley Road. Megofna’s 4-year-old daughter was in his vehicle, secured in a child safety seat in the back of his van.

After the shooting, both men called 911 and Megofna waited by his vehicle for police to arrive, the report said.

The report said that the victim, whose name was not released, told investigators that Megofna “flipped him off” and then fired a round into his vehicle, piercing both his arms and exiting through the driver’s side door.

Megofna told police that the victim initiated the conflict and then swerved into his lane as they were traveling along Happy Valley Road. He said he perceived a threat to himself and his daughter, pulled out his holstered .45-caliber pistol and fired a round through his open driver’s window into the victim’s auto, according to the police report.

           — Hat tip: MM [Return to headlines]

Top 10 Misreported or Underreported Stories of 2015

As the year draws to a close, we like to highlight some of the American media’s worst abuses that occurred during the past year. We have picked 10 stories for which there were general narratives presented by the mainstream media—narratives that ignored the larger truths to be gleaned from these stories. In other cases, the media missed the story altogether. We easily could have picked many more that meet those criteria, but arbitrarily chose to look at 10, in no particular order.

1. The Fake Iran Agreement 2. Global Warming Deal 3. Obamacare’s Ongoing Failures 4. Ignoring Benghazi Revelations 5. Blame Gun Control Laws or the Attacker? 6. The Islamic State 7. Obama’s Cybersecurity Failures 8. Vetting Hillary Clinton 9. Skewed GOP Primaries 10. Securing our Skies

1. The Fake Iran Agreement

In July the mainstream media celebrated a deal between Iran and the P5+1 that would provide Iran with sanctions relief along with virtually no accountability. Today, the administration, along with their lapdogs in the press, continues to argue that this somehow adds up to a good deal for the world.

It doesn’t. In fact, there really is no deal at all. The New York Times and other news organizations still call this a “signed” deal. It isn’t.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Trump is a Creature of Obama’ — Jeb Bush

Donald Trump’s success can be explained by President Barack Obama’s failed policies, Jeb Bush said.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The failed policies of President Barack Obama are the reason why so many Americans support Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, his rival Jeb Bush said during an interview with a US media outlet published on Thursday.

“I would argue that Donald Trump is in fact a creature of Barack Obama,” Bush, a former Florida governor, told National Public Radio (NPR). “But for Barack Obama, Donald Trump’s effect would not be nearly as strong as it is.”

Bush offered the comments after Trump made controversial proposals to establish a registry of Muslims and to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States.

“Clearly banning all Muslims would actually be so counterproductive in our efforts to destroy ISIS [Daesh] that it’s foolhardy,” Bush told NPR, adding that the job of a president was not to scare people, but to “give them solutions.”

Recent opinion polls show Trump continuing to lead the Republican presidential field among likely primary voters by 20 points while Bush’s support stays very low between 3 to 5 percent.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Trump: ‘I Know Words, I Have the Best Words’ — Obama is ‘Stupid’ [Video]

Speaking at a campaign rally in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Trump claimed, “The world has blown up around Barack Obama.”

Trump then mocked the idea that the State Department claiming that they brought peace to Syria suggesting, “So instead of saying they made a mistake — call it a typo — they made a mistake, they’re trying to justify it. Well, we meant we are working on it. Can you believe bringing peace to Syria? The world is blowing up. The migration from Syria. They say one of their achievements for the year is bringing peace to Syria and the whole world is talking about it.”

“It is the level of stupidity that is incredible. I’m telling you, I used to use the word incompetent,” Trump explained. “Now I just call them stupid. I went to an Ivy League school. I’m very highly educated. I know words, I have the best words. I have the best, but there is no better word than stupid. Right? There is none, there is none. There’s no, there’s no, there’s no word like that.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Who Owns Leaked Database With Nearly All US Voters?

Questions remain about who owned the leaky database containing the records of more than 191 million US voters

On Monday, and independent security researcher Chris Vickery reported that a misconfigured database leaked the voter registration information of more than 191 million Americans.

“The real issue and the real story is… that there is this database with information about essentially all voters in the United States, and no one seems to know even whose it is,” Callas said.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Belgian Bikers Arrested Over ‘Plot for Paris-Style Attacks at New Year’

Said Saouti, Salafi preacher and leader of Kamikaze Riders MC, is one of two men held by Belgian police

Belgian police have arrested two members of a notorious biker gang previously accused of Islamist sympathies on suspicion of planning a terror attack over the New Year.

“Military-type training uniforms, IS propaganda material and computer equipment” were found when police raided locations in Brussels, Liege in the east of the country and Flemish Brabant, the prosecutor’s office said.

The statement did not give the names of the two men arrested, who are due to appear in court on Thursday, identifying them only as “Said S. and Mohammed K.”.

However, the pair were said to be members of a biker club known as the “Kamikaze Riders MC”, and “Said S.” was named in local media as Said Saouti, one of the gang’s co-founders.

He was described last year, in an article on the phenomenon of radical biker gangs by a Dutch police specialist, as having both a criminal past in burglary and arms offences and also to be an active Salafi preacher. He had named the prominent al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki as his “teacher”.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Brussels Cancels New Year’s Fireworks Due to Threat of Terror

And they’re not alone

Brussels, Belgium traditionally puts on a spectacular fireworks display to ring in the new year, but this year there will be no such celebration. The terror threat in the nation and in the city in particular, where several conspirators in the Paris attacks were tracked, has caused officials to cancel the event altogether.

Cities around the globe are tightening already high security for the big night, but in Belgium the threat, and the stakes, are just too high.

City officials simply do not have the capacity to “check everyone”, said the mayor. The event is major, with over 100,000 in attendance last year.

Brussels is not alone. Paris, too, has canceled a fireworks display, although people will still be gathering to celebrate along the Champ Elysees as they do each year, albeit under a much greater security presence.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Donald Trump Could be Banned From the UK After Petition Signed by 565,000 People

The petition to the government was created after the Republican presidential candidate made a series of outbursts about Britain’s ‘massive Muslim problem’.

[Comment: Wasn’t this “petition” shown to be fixed?]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Financial Times: Merkel Will No Longer be Chancellor in 2016

Although elections are scheduled for 2017

(ANSA) — ROME — Angela Merkel will no longer be German chancellor in 2016, even though the general elections are scheduled for the following year, according to the Financial Times.

The prediction is made by Gideon Rachman who, along with other big names in the FT, has compiled forecasts for 2016, even though he has not always proved to be really good at predicting the future. According to Rachman, Merkel will be sent home by the migrant crisis, which is going to worsen next year, making the Chancellor’s situation more and more “unmanageable”.

Among other predictions; Hillary Clinton’s victory in US presidential election, growing difficulties in some country among the G20 (but not Italy, ‘saved’ by ECB programme of QE), which will ask for the IMF aid, British people saying ‘no’ to Brexit, the devaluation of the yuan, crude oil price above 50 USD, a fall in sales of diesel cars, Belgium, Germany, Spain or France winners of the European football championship.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

German Minister Advocates Random Drug Testing for Pilots

Proposal follows the crash in March of a Germanwings jet

(ANSA-AP) — BERLIN — Germany’s transport minister is advocating the introduction of unannounced alcohol, drug and medicine tests for pilots in the country.

Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt’s proposal follows the crash in March of a Germanwings jet that killed all 150 people aboard. Prosecutors believe the co-pilot intentionally crashed the plane and say they found torn-up sick notes from doctors at his home.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Germany: Police in Munich Warn of ‘Imminent Threat’ of Terror Attack

BERLIN (AP) — Police in Munich warned of “serious, imminent threat” of a terror attack late Thursday and asked people to stay away from the city’s main train station and a second train station in the city’s Pasing neighborhood.

In a statement posted on Facebook, police said that according to “serious information, there could be an attack tonight.”

The warning came about an hour before the city rang in the new year.

Police said they had received two different, “concrete” tips but did not elaborate on the nature of the threat or who had warned them…

           — Hat tip: LP [Return to headlines]

Germany: Munich Train Stations Evacuated After Possible Terror Threat

Police in Munich evacuated two train stations in the city after getting word of a possible terror attack.

Officials said they got hints of a possible bomb attack, specifically in the main Munich train station and the Pasing station, a police spokeswoman told ABC News.

Both train stations has been evacuated, police said.

Officers who were off duty for New Years went into work and are now performing sweeps of the stations. Police have not yet found anything suspicious, they said.

Police are asking people to avoid crowds, public transportation and train stations.

           — Hat tip: DV [Return to headlines]

Italians to Pop 52 Million Bottles of Spumante

Up 4% over last year

(ANSA) — Rome, December 31 — Italian consumers will pop an estimated 52 million bottles of spumante or domestic sparkling wine to usher in the new year, Coldiretti farmers’ association said Thursday.

At least 86% of consumers chose spumante over French champagne, a 4% rise over last year.

As well, spumante exports jumped 13% this year for a total of 190 million bottles, Coldiretti said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Lombardy Hospital Burqa Ban Goes Into Effect

Regional anti-terrorist ban includes helmets, balaclavas

(ANSA) — Monza, December 31 — A burga ban went into effect in the northern Italian region of Lombardy Thursday.

Lombardy has banned anyone wearing burqas from entering regional hospitals in what was described as part of an anti-terrorism security measure, officials said.

Also banned under a ruling decided December 10 by the regional government was wearing full motorcycle helmets that obscure faces and balaclava hats.

The ban also covers all official buildings.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Some Highway Tolls Hiked as of Jan. 1

Six out of 27 highway operators to benefit

(ANSA) — Rome, December 31 — Tolls on highways managed by six different companies will be more expensive beginning on January 1, government sources said Thursday.

The biggest hikes affect Satap, which manages the A4 highway from Turin to Milan (+6.5%), Strada dei Parchi SpA, which manages the A25 and A25 highways (+3.45%), Tangenziale Est SpA operating motorways around Milan (+2.10%), Autostrade per l’Italia (+1.09%), Pedemontana Lombarda (+1%) and Ativa (+0.03%).

A total of 27 companies manage the nation’s highways.

“Toll increases have been momentarily suspended for all the companies whose Financial and Economic Plan is being updated,” the transport ministry said in a statement.

“They may be revised after the plans are approved”.

The average, currently recognized toll increase is equal to 0.86%, the ministry said.

“Once again, the proven commitment of the Italian highway sector does not meet with a similar commitment on the part of government, which has granted contractual toll adjustments to just six out of 27 companies,” AISCAT highway operator association said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK: Mohammed Rehman’s Wife Begged for Mercy Over Westfield Shopping Centre Bomb Plot

Mohammed Rehman, 25, from Reading, planned to blow up either Westfield shopping centre or the London Underground to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the 7/7 bombings.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Muslim Convert Who Trolled Tory MP Charlotte Leslie on Facebook is Jailed

Craig Wallace, 23, of Willesden Green, north London, who converted to Islam while serving a jail term for attempted robbery, said he wanted to bomb Tory MP Charlotte Leslie’s house.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

ZDF: Arabic Subtitles for Merkel’s New Year Speech

Pre-recorded, on smartphones tomorrow, even in English

(ANSA) — BERLIN — For the first time in the history of Germany, the New Year speech of a chancellor, i.e. Angela Merkel, will be available with Arabic subtitles — and in English — tomorrow on smartphones, thanks to a special “mobile” version designed for migrants. The speech will be available at 7.15pm, immediately after the telecast scheduled for 7pm. This is one among the services that Germany’s public television network ZDF makes available to migrants, through the “mobile” service on smartphones “ZDF Arabic/ZDF English”. President Joachim Gauck’s Christmas speech is already available with Arabic and English subtitles, the two most widely spoken languages among the migrants who arrived in Germany this year. From January 4, Arabic and English subtitles even for the 5pm edition of the newscast. The service with subtitles begun on December 7 and currently offers short news for children and some selections from other formats. According to ZDF, it should offer guidance and information to migrants about politics, current events, history and German culture.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Is Israel Prepared to Meet ISIS Threats on Its Northern and Southern Frontiers?

Attention has been brought to bear by recent activities on Israel’s northern and southern frontier by ISIS in Syria and the Salafist affiliate in the Sinai, Ansar Beit al-Makdas (ABAM). That is independent of the alleged ABAM involvement in the downing of the Russian Metrojet Airbus 321 on October 31, 2015 with a bomb secreted aboard the aircraft that killed 224 passengers and crew in the Sinai. While ISIS allegedly fears only the Israeli Defense Force, at issue is Israel prepared to deal with these threats on both its Northern and Southern Frontiers. Moreover, what the US can do given its virtual abandonment of an alliance with Egypt, Israel and neighboring Jordan that collectively face the emboldened self-declared Islamic State (IS). An Islamic state that has demonstrated its long arm reach planning and fomenting barbarous terrorism in the Middle East, Europe and even here in the US. In the final days of 2015…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Third Journalist Killed in 3 Months in Turkey in Suspected Assassination

“Film maker Naji Jerf, father of two children, was assassinated … today in Gaziantep.”

On December 27, prominent Syrian journalist and filmmaker, Naji Jerf, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in broad daylight in Gaziantep, Turkey — making him the third journalist in as many months to pay with his life for doing his job.

Jerf, editor-in-chief of the Syrian independent monthly, Hentah, created anti-Islamic State documentaries detailing violent atrocities by the group in caliphate-controlled territory. Most recently, he published a documentary for the group, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, that details the brutal killings of Syrian activists during Islamic State’s occupation of Aleppo throughout 2013 and 2014. It garnered over 12 million views when Al-Arabiya posted it to its Facebook page. A statement from RBSS on Twitter Sunday stated, “Film maker Naji Jerf, father of two children, was assassinated … today in Gaziantep.” According to Turkish news outlet T24, “He was hit by a bullet in the head as he was walking in the street and taken to hospital, where he died,” reported the Hurriyet.

News of Jerf’s murder, described as an assassination by many, comes less than two months after Syrian journalists Ibrahim Abd al-Qader and Fares Hamadi were found brutally stabbed and beheaded in an apartment in Sanliurfa in Southeastern Turkey, on October 30. Two days after their murders, Islamic State supporters claimed responsibility in a video posted to social media, reported the Committee to Protect Journalists. The supporters said the double murder should serve as a warning to all “apostates [that] they will be slaughtered silently” — a morbid perversion of the RBSS journalist collective’s title.

In a subsequent interview with NBC News, Ibrahim’s brother, Ahmed, explained how the two journalists — known targets of the Islamic State who had not been careless with security measures — ended up murdered. According to Ahmed, a supposed IS defector, Tlas Surur, gained the pair’s trust, taking advantage of Ibrahim’s friendly nature to the point they considered him family.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Kazakhstan: Christian Convert From Islam Gets Two Years in Prison for Stirring Religious Hatred

Yklas Kabduakasov, a 54-year-old father of eight children, is a Seventh-day Adventist. In November, he was sentenced to seven years of restricted freedom and had books confiscated. His appeal ended with a prison sentence in a government labour camp. The charges against him were: inciting religious hatred. For Christian sources, he was punished for converting to Christianity.

Astana (AsiaNews) — A Kazakh court yesterday sentenced Seventh-day Adventist Yklas Kabduakasov to two years’ imprisonment in a labour camp on specious charges of inciting religious hatred. In November, a lower court had given the 54-year-old father of eight a seven-year sentence of restricted freedom at home.

Forum 18 reported that Mr Kabduakasov was prosecuted on allegations of inciting religious hatred. This was done by talking to others about his faith. He and his fellow Church members reject the charges as baseless.

Local sources said that Kazakhstan’s secret police, the National Security Committee (KNB), tracked Kabduakasov’s movements and taped his discussions, especially on matters of faith. After a year, he was arrested on 14 August, and convicted on 9 November.

The KNB apparently rented a flat where four university students invited the accused for religious discussions, secretly taped the meetings and then used the evidence in the prosecution case.

A lower court sentenced him to seven years’ restricted freedom, and ordered the destruction of nine Christian books that had been confiscated at his house. The Prosecutor had sought seven years’ imprisonment in place of the restricted freedom sentence.

A court heard the appeal on 22 and 25 December, before imposing two years in a labour camp on 28 December.

According to some Kazakh Christians, who withheld their names, he was tried because he had left Islam for Christianity. In addition, he had spoken with Muslims about the Gospel, raising the possibility of proselytising.

Kabduakasov’s case is thus seen as a warning to anyone tempted to leave Islam for Christianity.

Kazakh law strictly prohibits unregistered and unregulated religious activities. A 2012 law also bans religious literature that has not been formally authorised.

Thus, the authorities have the legal tools to crack down against various religious groups, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christians and Hare Krishna.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Amazon Donates Profits From Far-Right Anthem to Refugees

Berlin (AFP) — Online retail giant Amazon said on Thursday it will donate the profits from the online purchase of a tune released by the far-right anti-migrant PEGIDA movement to refugees in Germany.

Entitled “Gemeinsam sind wir stark” — German for “Together we are strong” — the instrumental, which has no lyrics, was released over Christmas.

The anthem drew close to 180,000 views on YouTube, and surged on’s music chart to become its bestselling MP3 download, knocking Adele’s “Hello” to number two.

The release of the track on Amazon sparked a storm of criticism, with the online retailer coming under fire for making money from its sales.

PEGIDA, an acronym for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident (PEGIDA), had said profits from the sale would be given to homeless Germans.

But Amazon placed a message on its German webpage, saying profits from its sale would be donated to help hundreds of thousands of migrants, many fleeing the Syrian civil war, who have arrived in Germany over the past year.

“Amazon’s profits from the sale of this song will go to a non-profit-making organisation supporting refugees,” the company said.

           — Hat tip: JLH [Return to headlines]

Migrants Pretending to be Victims of Domestic Abuse So They Can Stay in Britain

A report found that some migrants are deceiving Home Office staff by fraudulently claiming they have been battered to get the right to live in the UK.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The ISIS Chemical Biological Threat to the West

A discussion with Dr. Jill Bellamy

The Islamic State (IS) terrorism’s long arm reaches out from its self-declared Caliphate in Raqqa, Syria. It broke like a thunderclap in the waning days of 2015. There was the downing of a Russian Metrojet Airbus 321 flight in the Sinai with 224 passengers and crew with a bomb secreted aboard by possible ISIS operatives on October 31, 2015. A suicide bombing by ISIS-linked operatives in the south Beirut bastion of Iran’s proxy Hezbollah killed 43 on November 12th. The worst was yet to come the following evening with the bloody spectacles of Paris massacres on November 13th perpetrated by Belgian and French born Moroccan émigre’s and ISIS suicide bombers who entered Europe in the flood of more than 1 million Muslim refugees using fraudulent Syrian passports. The audacious plot by European ISIS operatives at a soccer stadium, outdoor cafe’s and the Bataclan music hall resulted in the deaths of 130 innocent civilians, more than 350 injured, 95 of the latter seriously. Five days later on November 18th, French police swat teams fought a pitched battle in the predominately Muslim banlieue of St. Denis in suburban Paris resulting in deaths of the mastermind of the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the 28 year old Belgian born ISIS fighter, his French born cousin and other perpetrators.

The US was not spared ISIS-inspired terrorism. On December 2nd, an American born Pakistani husband and his immigrant Pakistani wife, who entered the US under an unvetted K-1 fiancée visa, killed 14 innocent colleagues of the husband in a blaze of assault weapons fire at a holiday gathering in San Bernardino, California. The open borders of the European Schengen System and the vulnerable US immigration control system were broken by these ISIS terrorist events against the backdrop of the massive Muslim refugee flight from Middle East and South Asian conflicts…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

The New York Times’ Featured Syrian Refugee of the Week

On Christmas Day — three weeks after the son of a Pakistani immigrant and his Pakistani immigrant bride murdered 14 people in San Bernardino, California — The New York Times told the heartwarming story of “Kamal,” a Syrian refugee who resettled into Houston, Texas, earlier this year and immediately started shopping at Walmart.

The Times considers it tacky when actual Americans go to Walmart, but Muslim immigrants seem to live there, buying nothing but American flags and Christmas trees…

Only in fiscal years 2009 to 2013, the Obama administration has imported 680,000 immigrants from Muslim-majority countries. In that same time period, the government accepted approximately 12 immigrants from the British Isles.

The media’s persistent attempts to paint sympathetic portraits of the Third-Worlders pouring into America are always exercises in self-contradiction.

On one hand, the Times loves to provide lavishly detailed accounts of the atrocities committed on a daily basis in backward countries in order to pull at readers’ heartstrings. But then they’re shocked when readers don’t respond to descriptions of these medieval cultures by saying, What this country needs is more electric shock torture and organ harvesting of prisoners. How about we bring in some more Syrians?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

7 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/31/2015

  1. Happy New Year to all people of Goodwill!

    Yes now that is official, both Christmas and New Year passed without major terror attack.

    It looks like an indication that jihadis actually don’t have necessary operational capabilities. For them, the symbolic meaning of islamic mass murder during major Christian/Secular holidays is paramount, – but they simply can’t do it.

    So 2016 might become, instead of starting year of jihadi ofensive, – a tipping point in favour of Counterjihad.
    The impressive show of police and army forces we’ve witnessed in Europe, is defacto a part of anti-islamic resistance. Just imagine if you ask servicemen on patrol in Paris or or Brussels or Munich or London – what do they think about islam and muslims, as they spend holidays on the streets instead of celebrating with families and friends.
    You will hear the roar of Counterjihad. 🙂

  2. “Amish Extremists” — I love it. We live less than fifty miles from a lare Amish area in Southwest Ohio, and I cringe every time I see the horse-drawn weapons carriers go by.

    • Congratulations! You did punctuate the phrase “Amish Extremists”
      correctly. (Using quotation marks helps distinguish the term from the
      Muslim Extremists designation.)

      Of course, most of us know that the Amish are a peaceable Christian
      people who are very serious about their religion. They also do as Christ
      taught us to do – love your enemies and do unto others as you would have
      them do unto you.

      I think they do own hunting rifles in order to hunt wild game for their

  3. Dear Baron and Dymphna,

    I wish you a Happy New Year. I appreciate all your work and effort as this is one of the very few sites where I think I find truth, not bull.

    Please keep up the good work and know that I support your efforts.

  4. PS

    We live near Amish country, too. They are impressive. I love going to Yoder (a town near my larger town) which is where many of them live and shop, although they are also farmers, so they live around the outskirts. Still, it’s good to have them. They add a lot to our civilized life here.

  5. RE; The CA gun confiscation ‘law’ IMHO is a violation of due process , the 2nd, and 4th. Amendments, will over time be challenged in court.

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